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Attorney Profiles

Todd Spodek (Managing Partner)

Mr. Spodek decided early on in his life to focus his education and experience on trial work. Todd Spodek attended Northeastern University in Boston, MA and majored in criminal justice. This background provided an indispensable tool in the representation of criminal defendants in grand jury investigations, pre-trial hearings, trial, appeals and navigating the corrections process.…

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Columbus Federal Criminal Lawyers

The socio-political climate in Columbus, Ohio, can make it hard for defendants facing federal prosecutions to vindicate themselves. This region of the country can be sheepish and passive when it comes to dealing with the government. Jurors are bound to accept the credibility of government officials over your own even if you offer compelling testimony at trial. For this reason, you need a talented federal criminal defense attorney if you want to stand a chance.

An experienced federal defense attorney can put pressure on the prosecution by revealing all the weaknesses in their case. Legal theories are very fragile. They are composed of many elements and are poked full of holes because there are many defenses. Prosecutors get away with a lot of errors if they are convinced themselves that you are a bad guy and are able to turn the bias of judges against you.

However, when you have a criminal defense attorney who is well-versed in fighting for the rights of their clients, you can do some serious damage to their cases. Only an attorney with decades of experience studying the law and keeping themselves educated on all the changes can provide competent care in a complex criminal case. The prosecutors are forced to bend and will offer easy plea bargains or will even drop the cases when they see that they won’t win at trial.

Overview of the Initial Federal Criminal Process

The federal criminal process begins with an investigation. The officers may obtain search warrants with or without probable cause and wire-tapping style warrants that monitor your cellphones and computers. They may even begin profiling you. It is not uncommon for federal agents to actually move in next door to someone whom they are investigating to monitor them 24/7.

Once the federal agents have profiled you and have an understanding of your weaknesses, they may try to fabricate evidence of a crime when the law prevents a legal prosecution. For all the efforts wasted, they need something to show for it at the end of the day.

Therefore, if they know that you go to a certain place and that you are remotely interested in buying antique firearms, they may create a situation where an agent or a confidential informant leads you into a sting. They may lead you into exploring a collection of guns and may leave the door open about the legality of some weapons.

Even if this is entrapment, it can be difficult to prove secret associations with police. But the Feds are known for carrying out elaborate Hollywood-style stings that include actors, deep undercover agents, and the whole 9 yards. They have famously infiltrated outlaw motorcycle gangs and worked their way into the clubs to spy on every backroom activity and conversation. They will use these same methods even on garden variety suspicions of criminal activity or against innocent people when a lot of money is at stake.

In fact, in United States v. Jacobsen, 503 U.S. 540 (1992), the federal agents had set up an elaborate sting by targeting a man who purchased child pornography when it was once legal. In order to entice him into buying more after the prohibition, they mailed him promotional materials to purchase young nudist magazines. They created a pseudo-criminal situation that would not otherwise occur without their constant pressuring and marketing.

After you are arrested, you may be confused by the charges. The federal prosecutions can be overzealous and may try to make a case out of anything if they expended enough time in fruitless monitoring. Nevertheless, you will be brought before a judge within 72 hours for a bail hearing. This is your opportunity for release to start gathering evidence to support your defense. You should, however, be very careful not to communicate anything that could be used against because you may be under close monitoring.

After your arrest, the prosecutor will be forced to demonstrate probable cause for your arrest. This is the perfect opportunity for a skilled defense attorney to dismiss a weak case. If there are any major flaws in the narrative, the case can end here. Contact our law firm to discuss the rest of the process.

Columbus Federal Appeals Lawyers

The trial and conviction for a federal crime has just concluded and you’re waiting for sentencing. It’s a fantastic time therefore, to begin considering federal criminal appeals a bit more thoroughly. Before sentencing, you are allowed one vital opportunity to speak and try to mitigate the seriousness of your charges while pleading for leniency. The same trial judge about to pass sentence is the one that will rule if the case can go ahead to appeals. If a conviction is the result of your defense endeavor, you’ll have only 14 days to file the notice of appeal.

To lodge an appeal is to return to court the trial situation that sentencing has been passed on; to seek redress. One must consider two things before determining whether or not to appeal. One, if the trial court sentence is milder than what the federal prosecutor was arguing for; he or she might launch a cross-appeal to your appeal and the consequent sentence might be much stiffer! Two, if the legal representation you’ve used at trial is to be retained for the appeal or a more capable defense attorney with specific appeals experience hired.

When the trial court has passed sentence on a federal criminal case, a notice of appeal is to be filed. Expediency is advisable as this must adhere to the court system’s statute of limitations for filing an appeal notice; which is 14 days. According to www.uscourts.gov, there are 12 regional circuits in the 94 federal judicial authorities of the United States. In these circuits, there are 13 Federal Courts of Appeal; that has a panel of justices who manage all appeals on the federal level in each circuit. Above them is the US Court of Appeal for Federal Circuit which is the judicial institution that manages matters caused by international trade, national claims, constitutional and patent laws. A federal criminal appeals defendant must stay informed about the changes to court regulations and names; or locations of the courthouses.

Following the notice of appeal was dealt with, your attorney can then file docketing statements; these are the statements which pertain to a trial. They’ll enable your case details to be is easily put together by the court clerks prepared for referral to the appellate bench. In response to the registered notice; the court will issue a briefing schedule. Notification or communication to the deadline of the briefing program is written to all parties, and the federal criminal appeals defendant has 45 days to prepare an opening brief. You also have to get in touch with the court reporter who took notes of your event. These notes need to be prepared into trial transcripts that take some time; the transcripts will be utilized to initiate your appeal defense.

After the briefing schedule was released by the appellate court; the abilities of a competent federal criminal appeals lawyer will be required if not already obtained. Your counsel can help you to prepare an opening brief; this is the defendant’s first statement. The brief can be filed in a given from, filled on judicial online portals or handwritten. The opening brief is a lengthy citation filled record; aiming to demonstrate the appellate court using references to other related matters, the lower court’s trial result didn’t meet either legal or other expectations in reference to your case.

The Federal Court of Appeal receives your legal agents’ arguments; and then it is the turn of the federal prosecutor who records their opening brief in reply to yours. They answer to the arguments your counsel has put forward and try to show the bench why the sentencing you obtained is legally just. The defense lawyer then has a few weeks to submit a reply brief; either stressing firmly upon the opening briefs’ stronger points or passing strategic tackles to the prosecution’s arguments. The federal criminal appeals circuit court will then decide if the briefs fulfill the necessary requirements to pass a judgment. Based on the opening and reply briefs and other docketed evidence filed by the defense; they could pass sentencing or opt to hear oral arguments from the attorney against the prosecution. At oral arguments, each side has exactly 30 minutes to make its case; which can be an intense half hour. The discretion however, remains with the judge though parties can make programs in federal criminal appeals for their oral arguments to be heard.

Based on the outcome of this appeal, the defendant makes the decision to either; be satisfied with the appeal court’s sentence, appeal again in national circuit level and to further take the matter all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Federal Circuit Court of appeals seat has three judges that the president appoints and is on life tenure. Above this is the Supreme Court; which is the final stop for many appeals. There are however, many positive results to sentences which have gone through the national criminal appeals process.

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